Chelsea have flatly rejected an approach from Liverpool for Ryan Bertrand, who has fixed sights on one day inheriting Ashley Cole's mantle as the first-team left-back.

Bertrand shot to prominence when he was a surprise selection for the Champions League final in 2012 and made 38 first-team appearances last season, including 19 in the Barclays Premier League.

He made his England debut and has become a reliable deputy for Cole, who has signed a contract to keep him at Stamford Bridge until at least next summer.

Cole's decision alerted several Premier League teams who were all interested in acquiring the 23-year-old, led by Liverpool.

Brendan Rodgers knows him well from his time on the coaching staff at Chelsea but was told Bertrand would not be allowed to leave and has taken his search elsewhere.

Jose Mourinho has spoken to Bertrand and give him a positive message, that he is wanted and needed this season.

Chelsea have not seen a young player graduate from the Academy to establish himself in the first-team since John Terry, who is 32.

They have been criticised heavily for the strategy of spending millions on young teenagers from around Britain and overseas, not least because of its impact on the future of the England team, and would like to see Bertrand make the final step.

He has been used prominently in the marketing shots for the Asian tour and was among five players who attended one of Chelsea's 'Blue Pitch' community football facilities in Kuala Lumpur to coach local children.

The full-back has three years left on his contract and has added value by providing Mourinho with another player who meets the Premier League's 'home- grown' criteria.